Free Camping in Florida
Finding camping in Florida in the winter can be a challenge. It seems every state park and RV park is booked months in advance. But don’t fret if you don’t have a reservation. There is actually a ton of free camping in Florida allowing RVs capable of boon docking or dry camping to park completely for free! Last winter, we spent nearly two months camping around the state for free in winter. We explain how to find free camping in Florida in our video and share some of the beautiful spots we were able to enjoy this season.
If you’re going to camp, most of the districts require advanced approval or a permit which can be free or a small nominal fee. Make sure to check each individual website to see how their system works. Most spots limit camping to 14 days or less.
Unfortunately, most of the websites are not user friendly and require some dedicated searching and trial and error to find what your looking for. The land is broken up into five different districts which all manage their own areas. Your best bet when landing on the website is to find the tab for or search for “recreation”, then “camping” or “equestrian camping”.
There is a ton of public land, but that doesn’t mean all of them allow you to camp with an RV or motor vehicle of any kind. Several are restricted to just day use, hunting, or tent camping. We’ve provided the links below to make the process a little easier. Seriously – there are SO many places to camp. You could easily spend 3 – 4 months just staying at each spot and not even see half of them!
DuPuis Campground (Southwest Water Management District)
Hickory Hammock Campground (Southwest Water Management District)
This is toward the center of the state more toward the southern tip of the state. It’s also a bit farther from civilization 45 minutes to an hour drive depending on what you may need. The campground is beautiful. Old oak hammocks throughout the park, but still plenty of spaces for sunlight in case you’re using solar for power. There were less people here and far less traffic than DuPuis (which was happily welcomed as we went here after that).
Deep Creek Preserve (Southwest Water Management District)
A smaller campground within a very large publicly managed area just outside Arcadia, FL headed toward Southwest Florida. It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, no traffic noise, no cars in sight (well unless the parked with the rig). In reality, you’re a 25 – 30 minute drive to a very happening, busy town. We even went to a nearby brewery during a stay! There are several dedicated camping spots sprinkled throughout a grassy field under beautiful old oaks. There were three other campers, one group being 15+ large. We decided to head toward the very back of the campground and did a little “off road parking” to try and find our peace and quiet. There are a few nature trails just past the area, again very flat and similar views throughout the walk. We saw 2 birds on our “nature” walk, and evidence of hogs but no actual sightings. Maybe next time!
Liz & Dennis
We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!
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Do you know of any free camping in the panhandle of Florida
Hi Kathy – check out the links we provided to the various areas and check it out. I do believe there is a lot of free camping in the panhandle!
Any free rv camping and or parking in the Florida keys?
Not that we know of.
We got lucky & were able to “store” our trailer at a marina in their boat trailer lot for a fair price while we stayed with family in their apartment.
You definitely have to plan well in advance for a stay in the keys! – Dennis ✌️
Try Potts Preserve on the Withlachoochee River. There is a locked gate that you will get the code to when you make your reservation. There are approx. 5 sites with picnic table and fire ring right on the river and you can launch a canoe or kayak or motor boat. There are also sites in a field. There is a hiking road also. Very quiet except for the airboats taking tourists down the river. It is near Inverness at 2988 N. Hooty Point Road, Inverness, FL 34453. The link is https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/potts-preserve
Ph. 352-796-7211, xt 4470 for more info and to check for hunting season when they are closed.
Thanks for sharing! We’ve been there. It was great!!
are there any free areas by Apopka Florida? My son is living there at the moment. we would like to be fairly close.
we are just beginning to look and see what is available. any ideas???
We haven’t found any that are close to the city. I think your best bet is going outside of Apopka. Maybe in Zellwood or Sorento, but you’d have to look at the websites we linked in the blog to see if there is any free camping. I think Wekiwa Springs State Park is the best option.